Volume 45, Issue 5 (September 2000)
Review of The Scientific Examination of Documents, Methods and Techniques, Second Edition
In the preface to this edition, the author points out that the object of the book is to provide an outline of the subject and that the intended audience is those interested individuals outside the field of document examination. Most books on document examination contain some disclaimer of this sort—that they are intended for lawyers or investigators who may have need for the services of a professional document examiner, and have more than a passing interest of what expertise in the field is comprised. In most texts, this is a sort of “cover story” strategy designed to serve one or more of the following purposes: to provide some protection to experienced document examiners (maybe especially the authors themselves) when a cross-examining attorney tries to use the book as an authority in the field or learned treatise; to prevent the naive from using the text as the sole training source; or perhaps to extend the longevity of the work since an overview would not tend to go out of date quite as fast as a treatise. Most authors then attempt to be a textbook reference for document examiners despite their claims to the contrary.